While horseback riding in 2003, country singer Shania Twain was unfortunately bitten by a tick and contracted Lyme disease.
As Twain was traveling on tour, she initially couldn’t make sense of the unsettling feeling that encompassed her. In her documentary released by Netflix titled “Not Just a Girl,” Twain revealed how it felt to faint in front of an entire audience. She stated, “My symptoms were quite scary because before I was diagnosed, I was on stage very dizzy. I was losing my balance. I was afraid I was going to fall off the stage.” She continued, “I was having these very, very, very millisecond blackouts, but regularly, every minute or every 30 seconds.”
Eventually, Twain’s Lyme disease was identified and managed; however, she didn’t recognize the lingering after-effects of her diagnosis until years later.
Twain struggled greatly to find her voice. Twain said, “There were seven years where I could not, for example, yell out for my dog. My voice would just cut out in certain places.”
Mark Twain asserted that it required “several years” until somebody eventually identified the cause of her vocal struggles – Lyme disease. She stated, “It wasn’t anything obvious. Nobody connected Lyme disease to it. In the end, a neurologist finally connected that it was the nerve to each vocal cord.”
Despite the trepidation of having vocal issues as a professional singer, Twain remains immensely thankful. She added, “It was just a very unfortunate, ironic problem since I’m a singer, but I feel so grateful and so lucky that it didn’t attack somewhere else because it’s so debilitating.”
Twain has reclaimed her voice, albeit a slightly altered version that is nevertheless distinctly hers. She’s now accepted it and moved forward. She concluded, “I have a different voice now but I own it. I love my voice now.”
If you’re residing in any of the 14 Northeastern and Midwestern states, including Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota New Hampshire, New Jersey. New York Pennsylvania Rhode Island Vermont Virginia or Wisconsin – as per CDC reports – it’s especially crucial to be mindful that 96% of Lyme disease cases are due to tick bites! Taking precautionary measures during Spring Summer or Fall is recommended since this is when most ticks feed on host animals.
To protect yourself from tick bites, the CDC suggests using sprays with 0.5% permethrin on your clothing and insect repellents such as DEET. Moreover, when going for a hike stay in the middle of trails and avoid wooded regions, tall grasses, piles of leaves, or thick bushes while outdoors.
Before you enter your home, thoroughly check yourself, your equipment and apparel for ticks. Taking a shower afterward is suggested too in order to eliminate any hitchhikers that may have stuck on during the day; an additional safeguard would be throwing all garments into the dryer set on high heat for 10 minutes to annihilate any possible lingering ticks.